Wednesday, November 19, 2008

From the Windy Coast

Hello from Mui Ne, Vietnam. We have been moving down the coast of Vietnam at a casual pace, enjoying the different activities and atmospheres of the little towns along the way. In Hoi An we made a visit to a tailor where we had suits and dresses made to our liking. We were able to pick out the design and material ourselves and the products look great for a very reasonable price.

In Nha Trang we got our first real taste of a beach town, and I took up diving as a new hobby. Nha Trang is crowded with backpackers, and there are plenty of restaurants and bars to keep them all satisfied at night. In fact there are so many restaurants competing for the backpacker business that the price of beer during "Happy Hour" went as low as 7000 Vietnamese Dong, or 42 cents (US), and restaurant staff walk around the city handing out flyers and trying to attract your business.

We're now in Mui Ne, a much smaller, quieter, coastal town with one main street... and that's it! In Mui Ne everyone's crazy about windsurfing or kitesurfing. On a good day the sky above the beach looks as though it's filled with a flock of seagulls. Tara and I both took a windsurfing lesson which resulted in some serious sunburns. The first couple hours were spent getting on and off the board, but we were eager to try again this morning. Unfortunately the wind was SO strong today that we opted for sitting by the beach instead - the wind and waves weren't very forgiving of beginners. If the wind is calmer tomorrow we'll have another chance to windsurf before taking the bus to the next stop: Saigon or Ho Chi Minh City as it's now known.

Pictures of tailored suits, scuba gear, and our picturesque spot in Mui Ne coming soon.



Anonymous said...

Sounds like a good time. How'd you like the scuba diving? See any cool animals? What qualifications did you get? How's the food? Any good waves? Try surfing.

Love Justin

Ruth or (Aunt Ruth to Ian) said...

Well aint you two fancy with your hand tailored duds. La Di Da. LOL
Sounds like lots of fun.

your friends in Japan said...

Justin - You're rather inquisitive today, camper. Scuba was great! I've been interested in trying it for a long time so I was really psyched to finally get the opportunity to try it at a good price in a beautiful area. This is low diving season, so visibility wasn't great, but on the plus side I got a private lesson and my instructor was a frenchman named Ludovic, whom I secretely thought of as "the legendary Steve Zissou" in my head. Then when he put his dive mask on, he actually looked like my Uncle Al for some reason, so I started calling him Uncle Steve Zissou which would have confused him greatly had we been above water without a breathing apparatus in my mouth.

As visibility was low I didn't see a whole lot, and what I did see I don't really know what it was, but there were some Lionfish, a morray eel, a flute fish (think silver ribbon with an eyeball...funny-lookin), and a bunch of clownfish, angelfish, etc. I'm certified to do dives up to depths of 18m now, but I'll definitely do more diving in Thailand, also Malaysia if we go there, and get further certifications to go deeper.

Food here (Mui Ne) is great and cheap. I have eaten an entire fish (except for the eyeballs) for the past 3 nights in a row. At $3/fish it's a great deal!
The waves are great...actually too strong. I haven't been able to spend much time windsurfing because the waves are too powerful for beginners. Tried boogieboarding yesterday and got tossed around and pantsed several times.

Aunt Ruth - Just call me Mr. Fitted Fancy Pants.


Anonymous said...

Hey, Ian sounds great. I think I'm going to have to go home and dig out my Vietnam photos. It sounds like your travelling pretty quickly. Did you stop in Sapa or any of the other northern areas.

Enjoy the busy road crossings in Saigon. If you have time I would recommend a trip to Dalat and do a few days with the Easy Rider crew.

Happy travels.


your friends in Japan said...

Hey Steve, Thanks again for the tips. Unfortunately we skipped over the northern highlands in search of beaches. We're thinking that we'll come back through Vietnam on our way out of Asia and I hope to stop through Dalat then. We would have gone earlier but we met somebody who got Dengue Fever after visiting Dalat and Tara was scared off the idea of visiting there!